with Andrea Martongelli (Guitars/Backing Vocals)
Interview by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
Metal is an art form – fair enough one that is responsible for more sore necks than anything by Van Gogh or Picasso (well maybe not Picasso - funny angles and what not) but art none the less. And like art there’s a lot of different schools of thought. One set of artists wielding their brushes in the power-thrash scene is Italy’s Arthemis. Guitarist and backing vocalist Andrea Martongelli takes a break from the canvas and talks about the band’s latest body of works We Fight, and recent live antics. Oh and we discover pigs can’t sweat...
Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for me!
Andrea Martongelli (Andy): Yoooou’re welcome my friend! \m/
Rather than asking for a brief history of Arthemis as a band, as I’m sure a lot of people are aware of that, maybe you could give me a brief overview of your day so far?
Andy: ...woke up with a crazy hangover from last night party I did with friends, then drank 3 coffee espresso (the very strong Italian one) and started recording new songs for a new Arthemis album and also for my first instrumental solo record, due to be released late next year, and every time I take a break I answer to 3 questions of this crazy Metal interview...sounded like a good plan..
Do you think that people generally associate thrash/power bands with certain regions? Have you surprised anyone by being from Italy?
Andy: hehehe I found a band called ARTHEMIS and you should check it out! ...ehm seriously there are many great European bands playing this Metal style and ya know, I think every band from each country always adds some extra musical influences coming from their own roots, making it special every time, so that’s why Power-Thrash Metal will never die...
You’re particularly popular in Japan – why do you think that is?
Andy: Never understood why but...what I can say is, they have for sure a great taste in music especially for melody and fast guitar solos and riffs, and they really can feel what you’re playng, rather than just listening and judging , label you....so it’s probably because Japanese fans can feel that we don’t just play but we really feel and mean what we play or what’s written on our lyrics and that thing is for sure...so they appreciate the true energy coming out from each song.
Does your background bring any unique differences to your music? Are you influenced by it at all?
Andy: Of course what really influences us is not just the music that our idols as Metallica, Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Testament, Skid Row created, but also the way they lived their music and how true is the music they write! Coming from the deep and not just superficial sh*t.
Arthemis are quite well known for the furious guitar playing – how do you cool your fingers off after a long session ;)?
Andy: Hahahaha this is a great question!! Honestly I’m just constantly playing every day, all day-long and so my fingers are always on fire....I love music as much as I love my guitar so...that’s it...I just wanna spread out pure energy every time I’m on stage.....don’t really care about posing or being chicky...Just wanna beat my guitar as much as I can!
This year you’ve launched album six We Fight – which seems to have been very joyously received – what are your feelings on the album though?
Andy: I can truly say that we’re very satisfied about We Fight as it sounds very rough and full of true Metal power. We’ve recorded the album in between a Spanish headlining tour and a UK tour with Freedom Call and Neonfly, so we captured the live energy we usually have on stage, all onto this new record. The lyrics and the music are meaningful and true, coming from the heart, so that’s probably why the true Metalheads out there like it \m/
Obviously the album is called We Fight but is there anyone that you think you couldn’t take if it came to fisticuffs ;)?
Andy: ...........mmmmh Mike fu##in’ TYSON!!!....he is a true bone-breaker!!!
What is the actual inspiration behind the album and title?
Andy: Every day everyone fight to survive, to make a living, to get a job, to protect his or her family from whom wants to steal our pride, our life, our dreams! ...We won’t be ignored! No one can steal away our pride...never ever.... WE FIGHT and we will fight forever!
In the past you’ve released a number of metal covers of pop songs – have you ever been tempted to take on some other genres?
Andy: NO! Hahahaha if you don’t sweat like a pig (...mmmh just discovered pigs don’t actually sweat...anyway...) and bang your head, that’s not music!!!
Was this just for fun, or do you think that songs take on different meanings or catch people in a different way when you change them up?
Andy: ...pure fun and I think we did it well!!! We really enjoyed recording and making these songs damn Metal and people really enjoyed it as it really was! We’re still laughing about the weird cd cover....(F)ARTHEMIS can do this ...but ARTHEMIS only play true Power-Thrash Metal hehehe
You’ve just been touring the UK with I Am I – how has that been?
Andy: A killer-Metal-party! Every night we had a blast and I AM I guys are just great brothers as well as Fahran, the opening band who shared the stage with us through crazy UK! The show was on fire every night and you could see all of us giving all we got to make the night on fire. And the people really enjoyed this tour, I could see they have been part of the show as well! \m/
Did you get any particularly good reactions from any unexpected places?
Andy: The night in Southampton was killer and also Manchester, London, Newcastle....well...honestly loved all the places we’ve played as we got to now new friends, met old friends, and had the chance to party with them all after every show, so it was a proper party every night with different people...what more can you ask for?
You were touring right up until Halloween – any temptation to break out the costumes on stage?
Andy: We were JUST back home that night so we didn’t have the time to play on the Halloween night...doh?!?!... we’ll be back on stage on the Halloween night next year for sure dressing as madmen as the Arthemis tradition wants!
On your Facebook page it says the band’s interests are ‘Touring, Recording new music and Set the world on fire!’ – you’ve done two of those so far this year so how are you planning to light a fire under the world going forward?
Andy: We’re still planning as we need so much petrol but as you may know the price of petrol is incredible now so...we’ll better wait for a while and just concentrate on touring and recording new albums hahahahaha
Thank you soooo much and see ya on the road my friends and follow us on www.arthemismusic.com and on Facebook , Twitter and ReverbNation...Bang your head!! \m/